Hearts are going to race! Life & Style has learned that patience has paid off for the newly chosen Season 22 Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr.

“He’s wanted to star on The Bachelor forever,” reveals a source. “He’s gotten close a few times. They’ve dragged him along before.”

Arie, 35, recently hinted he was a contender for the Season 17 Bachelor gig that went to Sean Lowe and for Chris Soules’ season two years later. “In the past, he’s told all his friends he was going to be the Bachelor, and then boom — he wasn’t,” the source explains.

But now, the race car driver is officially handing out the roses. “Girls,” the source predicts, “are going to love him.”

For more updates on all your favorite Bachelor stars, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style magazine, on newsstands now!